A crystal ball would help

When it comes to reducing poverty, the Wayne Gretzky method could be invaluable — skate to where the puck will be; don’t wait for it.

But how do we predict with confidence a global disaster or increasing poverty in various locations around the world?

I’m sure boffins such as Big Gates sit with complex computer modelling and algorithms to help them understand where the puck will be, but for a small enterprise or an individual, where can you best invest your money and/or time?

I believe it has a lot to do with your passion. It is important for us as a charity not to duplicate what others are doing. While we are mostly a water charity, we work with on-the-ground resources who can construct solutions on our behalf.

That way we can use local expertise and likely reduce the cost of us trying to construct water solutions in far-off lands where we don’t know the political, social and environmental landscape.

One of the most unlikely and treasured friendships I ever had was with “Elder in training” Bob Purdy of Paddle for the Planet.

I met Bob while I was planning to paddle board around Okanagan Lake with frankly, very little experience. I struck a friendship with Bob and the reason I say an “unlikely friendship” is that some may describe me as a capitalist and some may describe Bob as an environmentalist.

Bob was concerned about what we were doing to the planet and wanted to make a difference so in his last several years on the planet he made a commitment to paddle every day.

I believe we had a mutual respect for each other’s positions and Bob would always come across as very wise and concerned in our discussions at 5 a.m. on Okanagan Lake on chilly autumn mornings.

However, Bob was not most concerned about inspiring others to simply save the planet, he was concerned about inspiring people in to action.

At the end of the day, while our crystal ball may be foggy, we can still do something to help mankind or the planet and help reduce poverty. Bob wanted you to take up a cause, whatever it was and commit some focus to it.

I remember the conversations clearly and treasure them but sadly, Bob has now moved on to greener pastures and bigger lakes after a wrestling match with cancer.

His legacy lives on because people around the world are committing to their causes and doing something to make a change.

The answer to the question about predicting global disasters is almost irrelevant to an every-day person like me or to our small charity; we just need to start making a difference.

Perhaps, the message is that while we may wish to get ahead of the curve, we can spend too much time trying to find a solution and not enough time helping others.

As someone once told me, God cannot steer a parked car, start moving and he can tell you which way to turn.

Let’s make 2021 a busy, productive and energetic year and finally put COVID-19 behind us as we deal with the ramifications at home of people being restricted to living an abnormal life for a good length of time.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More A Focus on Saving Lives articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories